She Devil! How to Drink Your Way Through the Family Zoom 

Ah, you mighty Nimrod you! You made an ass out of yourself on the family holiday Zoom call, didn't you? I get it, the digital age is no excuse for being any less annoying to your relatives than when you're in the flesh. Or perhaps you are brave enough to ford the in-person get-together — if so, arm yourself with Meddlesome Brewing's spanking yet dangerous She Devil Belgian Golden Strong. You picked it because the name reminds you of your Aunt Pidge, and as it is a hefty 8 percent ABV, it's medicinal. It doesn't taste too "big" and is very good. A little too refreshing, because suddenly you might go off on an unholy mission to turn the ordeal into a sort of Festivus "airing of grievances."

I hope that you pour your She Devil into a glass: It tastes better than way, and with a name that clever, there is no way you wouldn't use it on Aunt Pidge when you let fly. The possible overstep is understandable; these people have been mercifully free of your company for the better part of a year, so you have a lot of aggravation to dispense. Besides, Zoom holidays are a new medium: Any actor worth their salt will tell you that acting for stage and the camera are two entirely different art forms. So what if you play the part a little large? It happens.

click to enlarge Meddlesome’s She Devil - MEDDLESOME BREWING COMPANY
  • Meddlesome Brewing Company
  • Meddlesome’s She Devil

Assuming that you don't actually hate your family and they in turn still harbor some affection for you, despite that unique stamp you put on things, you might find that an apology is in order later. If this becomes the case, let me suggest a beer that just gives you some holiday feelz (note the z) that you might actually rememberz later. Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Brown Ale comes in at a more neighborly 4.5 percent ABV, which will help you manage your Ps & Qs just enough to calm your nerves, while explaining your appalling behavior to your horrified grandmother or impressionable nieces and nephews.

As far as I know, it's the only beer that uses whole roasted pecans in the brewing process — so it's a unique brew, literally. Located down in Kiln, Mississippi, it takes locally sourced to a new level and gives the beer a nutty and deep flavor. And, just like that cousin home from college who wants everyone to know that he's far too cool for family but won't log off, it is lightly hopped, so a lot of that caramel comes through. It also sets the sort of holiday tone in a situation where a pecan pie isn't forthcoming. Not after what you said about it.

While it is very interesting, Southern Pecan isn't likely to ever be one of my go-tos. That sweetness does lend it to pairing well with savory foods, though. A friend of mine told me it goes well with Thai food. So maybe if Aunt Pidge's dried-out turkey isn't on the table, call up Bhan Thai and give it a whirl.

These two beers are polar opposites, but either is a tasty choice. The difference between the two goes beyond the flavor to a matter of utility: Ones tastes like pecan pie served at gatherings of people who haven't raised self-medication to a performance art. She Devil, on the other hand, is a spanking beer for a holiday to remember (except by you). If nothing else, it's an example of honest marketing.

My advice for next year is to pump the brakes. Get just zippy enough to annoy, but not enough to get disowned. The vaccine is here, my friend, so next December you may have to sit next to these people armed only with the good silver.

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